Development of a Pavement Warranty Contract and Performance Specification for a Hot-mix Asphalt Resurfacing Project

Report No: 06-R8

Published in 2005

About the report:

As the primary focus of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) changes from highway construction to transportation maintenance, there is an increased need to extend the value derived from limited funding resources by increasing the service life of pavement rehabilitation treatments. In this regard, the development of a pavement warranty contract and a performance specification was considered in an effort to ensure that VDOT continues to deliver the highest quality pavement to the traveling public. The concept of a pavement warranty allows for a department of transportation to specify either performance criteria or materials properties that are to be met at the time of project acceptance or throughout the warranty period. These criteria are to be met through the efforts of the contractor in performing periodic maintenance or rehabilitation if required. Reports from the literature suggest that implementing warranty specifications may improve the final quality of the pavement project, reduce the state inspection forces required, and shift some of the responsibility from the department to the contractor. Other reports suggest that disadvantages may include a potential for reduced competition and higher material bid prices during the initial stages of warranty implementation. In an effort to help increase the overall quality of the roadway network and thus increase the service life of pavement resurfacings, VDOT sought to investigate the use of a warranty clause as part of an upcoming resurfacing contract. A performance-based warranty clause was developed in this pilot study to be included as part of the contract documents for a typical interstate resurfacing project. In this process, the bidding contractors would be given information about the condition of the pavement obtained from data collected through cores and the falling weight deflectometer and then the contractor would be responsible for developing the resurfacing pavement design that fulfilled the conditions of the warranty clause. The review of the submitted bids would be conducted in two stages where the technical merit of a proposal would be evaluated prior to the opening of a cost estimate. Because of the extensive deterioration of the pavement, the warranty concept was not pursued for the pilot project. This report recommends that the warranty concept be applied in another location as part of a future study. Reports in the literature from other state departments of transportation indicate that although warranties have the potential to improve overall pavement performance and reduce life-cycle costs, they must be developed such that competition between contractors is not reduced.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Last updated: November 27, 2023

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